The Daily Mail

By Daniel Piotrowski

Kanye West says he is running for president in 2020. But could he do it harder, better, faster, stronger than everyone else?

The rapper made his announcement at the end of a rambling speech at the MTV VMAs after admitting smoking a joint that evening.

But if he is actually serious about a bid to put the 'West' in the West Wing, a US political expert says he would have to leap some big hurdles — although 'stranger things have happened'.

Dr Thomas Adams, a lecturer in American Studies at the University of Sydney, said he doubted West could go the distance.

'It looks to me like a large social media stunt.

'He could try it. It's really hard to imagine him finding a political space where he could actually garner real support rather than people just saying yes in a poll.

'But, then again, stranger things have happened.'

The rapper has little political experience — although he has succeeded at attracting the ire of the nation's last two presidents.

A decade ago he was forced to apologise when, in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, he said 'George Bush doesn't care about black people'.

And President Obama famously labelled him a 'jackass' after he interrupted Taylor Swift at a previous MTV VMAs.

Dr Adams said a potential West candidacy — whether Democratic, Republican or Independent — would benefit from his wealth and high name recognition.

'The way American politics is today, if you're a billionaire you can at least be vaguely competitive,' he said.

'One can imagine him mounting a ... campaign that gets lots of media coverage', he added — much like Donald Trump, who is criss-crossing the country in front of large crowds. And like The Donald, who is cresting atop many opinion polls, Dr Adams said a serious tilt would probably poll well — even at 10 or 12 per cent.

'If this goes on, if this is more than a media stunt, and Kanye's name starts getting in the most recent poll of likely voters ... he (may) poll at 10 or 12 per cent.

'Those polls don't actually mean anything, but that of course will then fuel more (polls), he said.

But Dr Adams said other celebrity politicians, including Arnold Schwarzenegger and Ronald Reagan, began with smaller ambitions than the presidency.

An actor, Reagan was first the governor of California for two terms before using it as a stepping stone to be elected president in 1980.

And he asked the question: who would vote for West?

Dr Adams said West, who has supported the centre-left Democrats at past elections, would not capture the hearts and minds of the same people rallying around current candidate Bernie Sanders.

And he doubted he would have the same appeal as Trump — who is 'tapping into a deep anger on the part of conservative Americans'.

'It's hard to imagine what — besides people who understand politics from Instagram and Twitter — would be his constituency,' Dr Adams said.

West has around four years before he would need to get serious about a campaign.

This article was originally published at The Daily Mail